Monday, May 12, 2014

My Belated Thoughts On Mothering

On Saturday night, they sang. Choir concert, of course. One even sang a solo with that powerhouse voice of hers. Listening to them offer up their talents is one of my favorite things to do. Even more than puzzling. Which is saying somethin'.

Whenever they sing in a group, I feel myself leaning in to pick out their voices. Certain notes, particular bends in the music tend to single out the voice that I know as well as my own heartbeat. I'm drawn to it. In a natural sort of way. My eyes follow them on stage and it feels as if they carry a piece of my soul wherever they go. Mothers and their hearts.

When I first started mothering, I read countless books. I picked apart magazine articles for anything to give me a hint at what I should be doing. Did you do the same? That endless kind of searching and asking? I still do it now. Not so much the reading, but the asking. Simply because I'm curious, insanely so, on what makes other families tick.

How irritating is the random head at the top of this picture?

In my early mothering years, I was fervent about finding the "right" way to parent. I would literally sit in the isle at Barnes and Noble hunting through books. I wanted some kind of answer for why I felt like I was doing it all wrong. There just had to be a book that would tell me why my 2 year old chewed on the wall during time out.

Guess what? The answers are never found in books. Sure, they offer great insight and lots of ideas. But not often the answers. The ones tailored just to you and the people you mother. Those answers are located in the same place they've always been.

Inside you.

I think the Lord probably placed them there around the same time each child was gifted to you. The answers wait for us at the ready. Sometimes they're easy to reach. And other times, the answers feel exquisitely painful to discover. That search and find is all part of the plan as well, I'm sure.

Child #3's homemade gift. My favorite kind.

The world is of His grand design. There is order. There is placement. There is a plan to it all. So, we must believe this: You are where you're supposed to be and so are the children you mother. They were given to you for a reason. Not so you could mother them the way your neighbor does. Not so you can follow book solutions. You are the mother they need. With all your flaws and shortcomings, they need you. With the answers you hold in your heart.

Not because your perfect. But simply because of who you are. You, today, as you are in this moment, are the mother they need. Not the mothers you glimpse in their Sunday best or the kinds featured in articles. Just you. Plain and simple.

For you are grand. As mothers we always, always feel we are lacking. Sometimes the truth of what we face is heavy to hold. But hold it, we do. In our own unique way, we do this mothering thing on a constant spin cycle. Day after day. With no applause. That right there makes you extraordinary.

So, let's stop searching outward and start looking inward. You are the gift your children need. Right there. Surrounded by laundry and whining toddlers. You are their gift.

Let us treat ourselves accordingly.

Happy day late Mother's Day.
Celebrate what makes us each extraordinary. (Just a tip: The celebrating is so much sweeter when you listen to your daughters sing.)

1 comment :

Heidi McQuay said...

thanks for this post. Just what I needed to read - been seriously searching my soul for how to parent my little angel whose halo keeps falling off......